Humans driving 1% of species to extinction every year, says study

Worldwide biodiversity has dropped 27% in 35 years, according to a new study released today by the World Wildlife Fund, the Zoological Society of London and the Global Footprint Network.

The study, known as the Living Planet Index (1.5 MB PDF), tracked nearly 4,000 wildlife population trends between 1970 and 2005. Among its finding: marine species fell by 28% over the last 10 years; seabird populations have plummeted 30% since the mid-90s; land-based species have fallen by 25% between 1970 and 2005; and freshwater species sank 29% between 1970 and 2003.

The main factors driving these population drops and extinctions have been habitat loss, overexploitation, pollution, invasive species and climate change, according to the report, which says that climate change will be the driving factor in further extinctions over the next 30 years.

The report was released in advance of next week's meeting of the Convention of Biological Diversity, when 6,000 delegates from 191 nations will meet in Bonn, Germany to discuss the world's "unprecedented loss of biodiversity."

 This has been your "we're totally screwed" news of the day.